Management of blunt rupture of the heart

John H. Calhoon, Thomas H. Hoffmann, J. Kent Trinkle, P. Kent Harman, Frederick L. Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Ten patients with blunt heart rupture arrived in our emergency center alive during an 11-year period ending in 1984. Ages ranged from 19 to 65 years (mean, 35), and seven patients were male. Six patients presented with tamponade, three with hemorrhagic shock, and one with combined symptoms. Associated injuries averaged 2.25 organ systems per patient. All but one patient had surgery within 90 minutes of arrival. All patients had primary closure of the defect without cardiopulmonary bypass, five patients had subxiphoid window followed by sternotomy, two had right thoracotomy, two underwent left thoracotomy, and one patient was subjected to immediate sternotomy. Seven patients survived. Three deaths were due to irreversible hemorrhagic shock, two secondary to heart injury, and one from an associated liver injury. Prompt pericardial window with subsequent median sternotomy was successful for patients presenting with tamponade and immediate thoracotomy for those bleeding into a pleural cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-502
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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